|See Norfolk link for research on "Tompson" name element.|
The image (right) is a scan from an original bookplate photograph of James Francis Smythe - used by courtesy of The Angus Library, Regent's Park College, Oxford, with thanks to Susan Mills, Librarian. "James Francis Smythe was born on October 29th 1832 in Bristol. He died at Moseley, Birmingham in 1902. (quoted from Baptist Handbook 1903) The birth year quoted is at variance with official records.
James Francis Smythe became a Baptist Minister. He was the son of Francis Smythe (or Smith) who was a "Cooper Master".
Census records suggest that 1831 might have been his birth year - and Smith family of Bristol research for 2002/3 suggests 1830 as his birth year if - which seems likely - his father was a cooper named Francis Smith. It appears that James Francis Smythe may have been given a first name, Benjamin, but rarely used it. His eldest son - Frank Tompson Smythe - also became a Baptist Minister. "Frank" is/was a known form of Francis ...
James Francis Smythe trained at Bristol Baptist College but, "On account of imperfect health he did not accept a pastorate immediately on leaving College but from 1855 to 1858, he edited a paper which was issued from East Dereham, in Norfolk" (Baptist Handbook 1903). (This might have been 'The Dereham and Fakenham Times').
"In 1858 he entered the regular work of the ministry and successively occupied pastorates at Worstead, York, Canterbury, Bolton, Berkhamstead and Small Heath, Birmingham." (Baptist Handbook 1903)
"About three years ago (1900) he retired and soon afterwards removed into the district of Moseley. Together with most of the members of his family he joined the Church at Oxford Road." (Baptist Handbook 1903)
Pamela, through Frances Mary Smythe, then writes:
"She also remembers an Auntie Patti (or Patty - maybe this was Fanny/Frances Smythe) living there. (It appears that she spent most of her time confined to bed by then). She remembers being told about her Baptist Minister Grand-Father but she does not know whether he used the first name Benjamin or not, nor does she know anything about an earlier marriage or Mary Ella Smythe. However she is sure that he was buried at Yardley Cemetery in Birmingham and she remembers her Grand-Mother being alive so Elizabeth (Smith) must have survived her husband.
Since writing this I have phoned the cemetery and they have comfirmed that James Francis Smythe was buried in grave 498 (Section 3) on October 23rd 1902 and his wife Elizabeth Tompson Smythe was also buried there on 4th December 1916. Elizabeth ordered the grave for two people and the address was still then 45 Kingswood Rd. Moseley, Birmingham.
My mother in law also knew that one of her aunts had died young (presumably Emily) and that her Uncle Arthur was involved with acting/writing but she does not remember an Auntie Helen. She says that her Auntie Mabel married a Jack Golby and they had two sons.
In 1910, Edwin Cooper Smythe - then aged about thirty-nine - married Rosetta Hearn who was some ten years younger than her husband. They had three children. Frances Mary, born in 1912, Elizabeth (known as Betty) who was born in about 1914 and a son, Kenneth Cooper Smythe.
Edwin was still working at the cycle works when he died - although he became the manager according to his occupation on his marriage licence.
When my mother in law was two years old they went to live in Bromyard Road, Hall Green, Birmingham, a house which she has only recently left after 93 years there. "
Later, Pamela writes:
" ... my mother in law remembered an Auntie Pattie living at Oxford Road, Acocks Green, Birmingham - I wasn't sure who this could be, but I wondered if maybe it was her Auntie Fanny (Frances). However my mother in law has produced an old head and shoulders photograph of her Auntie Katie which has the family names written on the back . This describes Katie as "sister of Edwin, Pattie, Mabel, Fanny, Frank and James" (presumably the latter is Arthur as I note that his second initial is given as J. in the 1881 census quoted on your website). Emily's name is mentioned below the others - presumably because she had died by the time of the photograph. This would mean that Auntie Pattie has to have been Helen as she is the only sister not mentioned by name on the back of the photograph.
There seems to be a family habit of referring to children by different names - my mother in law, although named Frances Mary, was always called Mollie by her family."
James Francis Smythe was educated in Bristol. He attended - according to Baptist records - the City School - also known as Queen Elizabeth Hospital School. John Tottle - of the QEH Old Boys' Association - however, made (2002) an extensive study of the register of pupils for the era but was unable to locate a reference for him.
First Marriage - He was married on the 10th November 1858 at The Independent Chapel, East Dereham, Norfolk England. "Married in the Independent Chapel according to the Rites and Ceremonies of the Baptist Dissenters". Described as of Full age. A Dissenting Minister. His father is named as Francis Smythe, and is described as a 'Cooper Master.' The bride's name is listed as Eleanor Cooper.
Eleanor Cooper was the daughter of William Cooper, a Landed Proprietor. The bride's residence is given as 'of Russell Place, East Dereham'. The witnesses were: William Cooper (the bride's father), Edward Wigg and Hannah Wigg and Elijah Gould with Fanny Shalders. The Minister was (Chas?) Gould and the Registrar, William Mark Warcup. (Marriage Certificate Certified Copy TG602799 29th October 2002 (his birthday - uncanny!) signed by A. Dagless - Registrar 2002) The following Will details are avaiable from the internet -"Edward WIGG of St Stephens, Norwich, cab driver died 25 Dec 1872 [age 58] at St Stephens ADMON proved at NORWICH 28 Jan 1873 by Hannah WIGG widow effects under £1,000."
|Eleanor (Cooper) Smythe, the first wife of (Benjamin) James Francis Smythe, appears to have died shortly after the birth (or in childbirth perhaps) of the only child of this marriage, Mary Ella Smythe. The 1861 census for Worstead, Norfolk, shows him as a widower and has the following details:|
||hd, wdr, Baptist Minister||Bristol Somersetshire||1198/121/11.|
|SMYTHE Mary Ella, 1||daughter||Worstead||1198/121/11.|
|SHALDERS Jane, 40||housekeeper, unm||Worstead||1198/121/11.|
|COX Mary Anne, 18||serv, unm house maid||Smallburgh||1198/121/11.|
|READ Sarah, 18||serv, unm, house maid||Mundesley||1198/121/11.|
His second wife, Elizabeth Tompson Smith was possibly a cousin. Census listing for Smythe confirmed below as:
|Place||Register||Year||Surname, Forename, Age||Position, Status, Occupation||Born||Fol/Page - No.|
|Tunstead & Happing District||Worstead||1861||SMYTHE Benjamin James, 29||hd, wdr, Baptist Minister||Bristol Somersetshire||1198/121/11.|
|Tunstead & Happing District||Worstead||1861||SMYTHE Mary Ella, 1||daughter||Worstead||1198/121/11.|
|James F. SMYTHE||Head||M||Male||50||Bristol, Somerset, England||Baptist Min Claremont Chapel|
* Emily's second name was 'Roberts' .
1891 British Census Details
James Francis Smythe and his wife, Elizabeth (then aged 57), were living at 126, Boxwell Road in Berkhempstead, Hertfordshire. By this time, only the youngest three children were living at home with their parents. The census of 1891 was conducted on April 5th of that year and James Francis Smythe accords himself - or is accorded - the age of 60. If his birth month was October - as is suggested by Baptist records - then this would place his birth year firmly as 1830 - in line with the research of John Butland Watts (qv next generation back with allied family research details) - and thus strenghten the evidence of his being the first-born son of Francis Smith/Smyth and Martha Roberts.
from the 1901 UK Census:
James Francis Smythe was 69 at census date (March) 1901. His wife Elizabeth F. Smythe, was 67. (Second name initial is at variance with 1881 census) They lived at 45 Kingswood Road, Balsall Heath, (St. Paul's) Birmingham. They seemed to like the number 45!
The 1901 Census also shows a grandchild, Gladys Holgall - (says notorious 1901) - actually, it's Holgate - aged 12, as being at the house at census point. This would be the daughter of Mary Ella Smythe (the only child of the first marriage of James Francis Smythe to Eleanor Cooper) born at Worstead circa 1860 and married 1886 (see below).
Gladys (Holgate) is noted as being born in Macedonia (USA) circa 1889. Mary Ella SMYTHE, is mentioned in the texts of James Francis Smythe career section (linked above).
Arthur J. Smythe (35) was living at 44 Thorny Hedge Road in Acton, Middlesex (Gunnersbury, St. James) and is listed as a Journalist and Author. Married to Sarah - (25) - probably Evans, born circa 1876 in Tenby, Pembrokeshire in Wales.
They were married in Cardiff in 1895. By 1901 they had a daughter, Mabel Smythe (4) and a son, Lionel Smythe (3) - both born in Chiswick Middlesex. Living with them at the time was Lily Gamble, Domestic Servant from Halton? (Hatton ? - where his sister-in-law, Ada Drew's family came from - 'Hatton Road') Middlesex.
|?Benjamin James Francis Smythe
The City School - aka - Queen Elizabeth's Hospital School (Q.E.H.) Bristol
The school was established (as a bluecoat foundation) in the buildings of the dissolved Hospital of the Gaunts. Founded by John Carr, a soap merchant, in 1590, on the model of Christ's Hospital, London, it received its royal charter in a grant by Queen Elizabeth I in the same year and a grant of arms - which includes Bristol's ship-and-castle crest - a little later.
Those who see the students of QEH file into the Lord Mayor's Chapel for Council Prayers wearing their traditional dress are seeing living history. The blue-coats, girdles, preaching bands, moleskin breeches and bright yellow socks of what is sometimes called "The City School" have survived four centuries of change. Today, the school is famous for its rugby, music and drama.
Note on Arthur J. Smythe - 2nd son of James Francis Smythe - he was an actor/writer and clearly transmitted a love of acting to his nephew, Henry James Drew Smythe. The latter became a celebrated Bristol surgeon but frequently took part in amateur productions from Medical student days onwards.
Rowland Hill (Later Sir Rowland) 1795~1879. The postal system that has spread throughout the world, was first suggested in 1837 by Rowland Hill. He proposed that the postal charges be based on weight, not on distance, and that the sender, not the recipient, pay for the stamp. Hills adhesive stamp design featured Queen Victoria against a black background and was called a Penny Black. He is buried in the chapel of St. Pauls, Westminster Abbey.
Hill and Eleanor (Hill) Smyth ...
ROWLAND HILL - 1840 AUTOGRAPH LETTER, SIGNED, TO THE EDITOR OF THE "LIVERPOOL MERCURY" REF. THE TOWN's PUBLIC SUBSCRIPTION FOR A PRESENTATION SILVER SALVER; 10th Nov. 1840 Autograph Letter (cut and hinged for display) signed "Rowland Hill" to "Egerton Smith Esq." (Editor of the Liverpool Mercury), acknowledging the receipt of a recent "copy of the Liverpool Mercury" with details of the town's "subscription". The citizens of Liverpool raised funds to present Hill with a "very beautiful silver salver" (in April 1841) in recognition of his part in the Introduction of Cheap Postage [see Hill's autobiography, vol.1, p.442]. This 20-inch diameter silver salver still exists and is preserved amongst the National Postal Museum collections; it is illustrated in Fryer's book on Postal Reform, p.1191.
ROWLAND HILL - PERSONAL AUTOGRAPH LETTER, SIGNED, REF. HIS FUTURE DAUGHTER-IN-LAW's MARRIAGE SETTLEMENT; 19th Oct. 1865 letter (on embossed "HAMPSTEAD N.W." notepaper) to "Mr. Walters" (presumably the Hill family's solicitor) regarding "two points on which I should like again to see Pearson [Hill; his only son] before the [marriage] proposals are sent to Lucas..." Pearson Hill was to marry Jane D'Esterre Roberts in 1866; the letter is annotated "P. Hill's Marriage Settlement" on the back.
ROWLAND HILL - AUTOGRAPH LETTER, SIGNED, TO HIS BROTHER, PLUS OTHER HILL FAMILY AUTOGRAPHS; Fine small "24th May [c.1869?]" letter to "Dear Arthur" (Hill's younger brother, 1798-1885) ref. the fact that "Caroline [Hill's wife] and I are going to Brighton to stay till Thursday" written and signed by Rowland Hill himself; plus a fine 1856 1d Red env. with v. fine blue-black "NOTTINGHAM" sideways duplex addressed to "Edwin Hill, Bruce Castle..." signed by "Marcia Hill" (Rowland Hill's niece; writing to her father), and rare 21st Feb. 1881 autograph mourning note signed by Rowland Hill's widow "C[aroline]. Hill" addressed to a "Colonel Manly".
See: "an Indian girl - from an original and unpublished photo taken in 1862 for Mrs. Caroline Smyth, formerly Mrs. Arthur Fellows, and daughter of the Postal Reformer Sir Rowland Hill". via this source
"Tu-te-ma (Lucy) (lightening) and her mother in a canoe, Barkley Sound, Shee-shadt tribe".
Carloline Smythe writes: "But my chief friend from the village was Lucy, a girl like her parents, had come under the influence of Bishop Demers...and his catholic missionaries. No walrus tooth in chin, no hideous malformation of cranium, no painted face, had Lucy; and she was as good a girl and sweet-tempered, capable, industrious as any maid could be. She used to paddle her small canoe across from the village, draw it up, and leave it on the pebbly shore, appearing at our door punctuality personified." From An Octogenarian's Reminiscences. Eleanor Caroline Fellows, privately published in London, 1916, p. 95.